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Arch Hellen Med, 25(3), May-June 2008, 295-307


The multiple faces of Aspergillus fumigatus and its impact on humans

9th Respiratory Department, "Sotiria" General Hospital, Athens, Greece

During recent years a dramatic increase in the impact of Aspergillus on humans has occurred, as a result of the continuously increasing use of potent immunosuppressive treatment. A. fumigatus has already emerged as the most serious airborne fungal pathogen in the developed countries. Pulmonary infection by Aspergillus is associated with allergic reactions, such as asthma and hypersensitivity pneumonitis, in addition to the colonisation of the bronchial tree with allergic bronchopneumonic or invasive aspergillosis, which results. In spite of the latest developments in the study of this fungus, there are many unknown aspects as to its behavior and to the pathogenesis of the diseases it causes. Because of this knowledge gap, treatment is usually empirical and is associated with difficulties. In order to understand these diseases better strategies of diagnosis, epidemiology, treatment, and pathogenesis should be reviewed.

Key words: Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, Aspergilloma, Hypersensitivity pneumonitis, Invasive aspergillosis, Pulmonary aspergillosis.

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